Qualifying Sessions

During to the coronavirus outbreak we will be reviewing our programme of events and working arrangements in line with government and Public Health England guidance. Please see this statement from the BSB for further information.

 

What are Qualifying Sessions?

Qualifying Sessions form a vital part of a student’s journey in training to become a barrister. All students who undertake vocational training for the Bar are required to be members of an Inn. Qualifying Sessions, which take place alongside a student’s vocational training, provide opportunities for professional and ethical development. This also complements and builds on a student’s academic and vocational education, forming a bridge to the final component of Bar training: pupillage. Qualifying Sessions also provide opportunities for a student to enhance their understanding of the role of barristers in the wider justice system and the rule of law.

Through the provision of both practical and knowledge-based sessions, delivered by specially selected and trained members of the profession and experts, the Inns help equip students to undertake the next stage of training and to be fit and proper to serve the public as barristers. The links made with the profession through the Inns provide students with a foundation for pupillage and work-based learning but also for a career at the Bar thereafter.

Qualifying Session Requirements

From September 2020 the number of Qualifying Sessions needed to be called to the Bar will change and students will need to gain ten Qualifying points. Student must attend a minimum of one session under each of the themes outlined below and at least two sessions must be interactive and require preparation in advance. Students can contact the Education and Training Department if they have questions about this change.

The Inns Qualifying Sessions are spread across five themes. The themes are:

  • Ethics, Standards and Values;
  • Advocacy Skills;
  • Legal Knowledge, Justice and the Rule of Law;
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; and
  • Preparation for Pupillage, Career Development and Wellbeing.

The Inn recognises that its student members study the vocational qualification component with providers across England and Wales and therefore provides a wide range of Qualifying Sessions at weekends as well as during the week. Students at providers outside of London can local qualifying sessions.

Student on the second year of a two year BPTC need to complete 12 Qualifying Sessions. Please check the page four of the Joint Qualification and Educational rules for more information. 

Impact of COVID-19 on Qualifying Sessions

We understand that for many this is an anxious time, be reassured that we will continue to provide online high-quality equivalent learning and support for all our students and practitioners who need access to our training.

Currently the Inn’s educational and training programme including Qualifying Sessions, Pupils and New Practitioners courses are being delivered through online learning until the end of 2020. An update on training due to be provided from January 2021 will be published shortly.

Qualifying Sessions Programme September to December 2020 (Michaelmas Term)

An online event that includes one-hour panel talk explaining the student’s responsibilities and how they can access support. This is followed by a one hour of questions and answer session in breakout rooms. In each breakout room there will be members of the profession with different levels of seniority and practice area which the students can speak and have their questions about the profession answered.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - To identify sources for educational support and wellbeing provided by the Inner Temple and wider profession.

Theme: Management of Pupillage, Career Development & Wellbeing

Interactive: Yes

Preparation in advance required: Yes

(All sessions that require preparation in advance are also interactive, so you must attend two of these)

Qualifying point: 1

Cost: Free

Date: Tuesday 22 September 2020 

Time: 5pm - 7.15pm 

Open to:  All new London Students

The legal research training is offered by Inner Temple Library and run by the librarians. You will be taught how to research UK cases and legislation, decipher legal abbreviations, understand the need to use commentary sources and keep up to date with developments in the legal world. You will be provided with a hand-out that you can take away.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - Describe how to research UK cases and legislation
  • - Explain legal citations and indexes
  • - Identify the key legal databases for UK law

Theme: Legal Knowledge, Justice & The Rule of Law

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Qualifying point: 1

Cost: Free

Date:  Tuesday 29 September and  Wednesday 21 October 2020 

This session is repeated. You cannot attend both sessions.

Time: 5pm - 7.30pm

Open to:  2020/2021 students, inc 2019 & 2020 part timers AND transferring legal professionals

The session will begin with an introductory talk on advocacy. Students will then be split into groups where they will undertake advocacy exercises using materials provided in advance and under the guidance of experienced practitioners

Learning Outcome(s):

- To be able to identify the different approaches to advocacy and question their own advocacy skills.

- By the end of session students will be able to:

- Identify important factors in witness handling, including both evidence in chief and cross-examination

- Assess strong and weak factors in cases and witness evidence

- Practice examining witnesses both in evidence in chief and cross examination

- Reflect on how they can improve their witness handling skills

Theme: Advocacy Skills

Interactive: Yes

Preparation in advance required: Yes

(All sessions that require preparation in advance are also interactive, so you must attend two of these)

Qualifying point: 1

Cost: Free

Date: Thursday 1 October and Wednesday 7 October 2020. 

This session is repeated. You cannot attend both sessions.

Time: 5pm - 7.30pm

Open to:  2020/2021 students, inc 2019 & 2020 part time students

An online event that includes one-hour panel talk explaining the student’s responsibilities and how they can access support. This is followed by a one hour of questions and answer session in breakout rooms. In each breakout room there will be members of the profession with different levels of seniority and practice area which the students can speak and have their questions about the profession answered.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - To identify sources for educational support and wellbeing provided by the Inner Temple and wider profession.

 

Theme: Management of Pupillage, Career Development & Wellbeing

Interactive: Yes

Preparation in advance required: Yes

(All sessions that require preparation in advance are also interactive, so you must attend two of these)

Cost: Free

Date: Friday 2 October 2020 

Time: 5pm- 7.15pm 

Qualifying point: 1

Open to:  All new Circuit Bar Course students

Professor Iyiola Solanke (Chair in EU Law and Social Justice, Leeds University School of Law, Associate Academic Fellow and Inner Temple Bencher): will deliver a lecture Equality Law This event is followed by a Q&A.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - Explain key elements of Equality Law
  • - Describe key areas of debate around Equality Law
  • - Identify how Equality Law relates to other areas of law 

Theme: Legal Knowledge, Justice & The Rule of Law

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Cost: Free

Date: Monday 5 October 2020 

Time: 6pm - 8.30pm 

Qualifying point: 1

Open to:  Students and Members

Master Rachel Spearing (Master of Wellbeing) will give a talk on ways in which to preserve individual wellbeing during the Bar Course, pupillage and practice, including advice on techniques to curb stress and ways to maintain a work-life balance. The talk will last approximately an hour and will be followed by a half hour’s open Q&A session.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - Identify ways in which to promote wellbeing in the study/workplace
  • - Use skills and knowledge to support their personal and professional wellbeing 

Theme: Management of Pupillage, Career Development & Wellbeing.

Interactive: No.

Preparation in advance required: No.

Cost: Free

Date: Tuesday 6 October 2020 

Time: 6pm - 7.30pm 

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: 2020/2021 students, inc 2019 & 2020 part time students and transferring legal professionals

A panel of experienced practitioners will discuss issues surrounding class at the Bar, from a variety of intersectional viewpoints, covering aspects of pupillage, practice and individual wellbeing, as well as routes to the Bar and ways in which the profession needs to change and adapt. The panel discussions will last for approximately two hours and will be followed by a half hour’s open Q&A session.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - Be able to identify ways in which to promote diversity in the workplace
  • - Be able to discuss equality, diversity and inclusion issues that can arise in the legal profession, from the recruitment stage to longterm practice
  • - Identify support schemes for legal practitioners

Theme: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.

Interactive: No.

Preparation in advance required: No.

Cost: Free

Date: Tuesday 13 October 2020

Time: 5.45pm - 8pm

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: 2020/2021 students, inc 2019 & 2020, 2019 & 2020 part time students and transferring legal professionals

The moot masterclass will be a lecture by Master Alastair Hodge (5 Essex Court, Inner Temple Bencher).

Students will listen to a lecture on mooting skills, preparation, advocacy, timing and how to deal with judicial intervention.  The masterclass will be followed by Q&A.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - Describe key skills needed for mooting and advocacy
  • - Reflect on how they can improve their advocacy skills

Theme: Advocacy Skills

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Cost: Free

Date: Tuesday 27 October 2020 

Time: 6pm - 8pm 

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: 2020/2021 students, inc 2019 & 2020 part time students and transferring legal professionals

A panel of experienced practitioners will discuss issues surrounding being LGBTQ+ at the Bar, covering aspects of pupillage, practice and individual wellbeing, as well as ways in which students, pupils and practitioners can be allies to one another. The panel discussions will last for approximately two hours and will be followed by a half hour’s open Q&A session.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - Be able to identify ways in which to promote diversity in the workplace
  • - Be able to discuss equality, diversity and inclusion issues that can arise in the legal profession, from the recruitment stage to longterm practice
  • - Identify support schemes for legal practitioners

Theme: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Qualifying point: 1

Cost: Free

Date: Thursday 29 October 2020

Time: 5.45pm - 8pm

Open to: 2020/2021 students, inc 2019 & 2020 part time students and transferring legal professionals

This event focused on practical advice on how to secure a pupillage.   and will look at pupillage on circuit and will include members of the profession explaining their own pathway to pupillage before offering tips on how to write pupillage applications and answer interview questions.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - To be able to outline the pupillage interview process and describe techniques that can be employ during the application process
  • - By the end of session students will be able to:
  • - Identify successful pathways to pupillage
  • - Assess their future skills needs prior to pupillage

Theme: Management of Pupillage, Career Development & Wellbeing.

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Cost: Free

Date: Wednesday 4 November 2020

Time: 6pm - 8pm 

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: All circuit students

This session will be open to circuit students only.  Master Anne Richardson will deliver a talk on how to examine/cross examine vulnerable witnesses. The session will be followed by a Q&A session.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - To be able to identify how to approach examining/cross-examine vulnerable witnesses
  • - Identify important factors in witness handling, including both evidence in chief and cross-examination
  • - Reflect on how they can improve their witness handling skills

Theme: Advocacy Skills

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Cost: Free

Date: Wednesday 11 November 2020 

Time: 6pm - 7.30pm 

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: All circuit students

A panel of experienced practitioners, pupil supervisors and current pupils will discuss different aspects of pupillage, including what to expect, how to construct a successful application and how to preserve individual wellbeing during pupillage. Including an open Q&A session.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - To be able to outline the pupillage interview process and describe techniques that can be employed during the application process
  • - Identify successful pathways to pupillage
  • - Assess their future skills needed prior to pupillage
  • - Explain the key issues in equality, diversity and inclusion in the context of recruitment

Theme: Management of Pupillage, Career Development & Wellbeing

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Cost: Free

Date: Thursday 12 November 2020

Time: 5.30pm - 8pm

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: 2020/2021 students, inc 2019 & 2020 part time students.

Professor Cheryl Thomas QC (UCL Faculty of Laws, Dean of Education and Inner Temple Bencher):

Giving Judges a Voice in Democracies

Followed by Q&A.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - Explain key elements of the relationship between judiciary and democracy
  • - Describe Key areas of debate around the subject “Giving Judges a Voice in Democracies”
  • - Identify how giving judges a voice in democracy relates to other areas of law

Theme:  Legal Knowledge, Justice & The Rule of Law

Interactive: No. 

Preparation in advance required: No

Cost: Free

Date: Monday 16 November 2020

Time: 6pm - 8.30pm

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: Students and Members

Patrick O'Connor QC (Doughty Street Chambers, Inner Temple Bencher), introduction by The Rt Hon Sir Konrad Schiemann (Lord Justice of Appeal (1995–2004), judge of the CJEU (2004–12), Inner Temple Bencher):

 The Inner Temple and the Rule of Law: The Life of Helmuth von Moltke

 Followed by Q&A

Learning Outcome(s):

By the end of session students will be able to:

- Explain key elements of how a lawyer can uphold the rule of law in hostile circumstances

 - Describe the factors that make the Rule of Law fragile in hostile circumstances

 -  Identify how viewing historical events through a legal history lens can strengthen the upholding of the Rule of Law in a modern social context.

Theme: Legal Knowledge, Justice & The Rule of Law

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Cost: Free

Date: Monday 23 November 2020

Time: 5.30pm - 7pm

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: Students and Members

The Inn hosts three student advocacy weekends a year. The weekends offer the chance to practise your advocacy skills, as well as an opportunity to hear from high profile speakers and experts in the topic under discussion.

In addition, the weekends allow you to explore ethical decision-making in practical settings and offer the chance to gain insight into pupillage applications and interviews.

This terms Students’ Advocacy Weekend is on Modern Slavery and the Modern Slavery Act.

 

Learning Outcome(s):

By the end of the weekend students will be able to:

- Identify the key details of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

- Practise their oral advocacy and performance skills, including preparation of questions, questioning of witnesses and responding to unforeseen circumstances

- Reflect on how they can improve their advocacy and performance skills

- Identify and apply core duties to ethical challenges faced by barristers

- Reason through ethical challenges that raise competing ethical principles

- Identify and apply core duties to ethical challenges faced by barristers

Themes:

Ethics, Standards & Vales

Advocacy Skills

Legal Knowledge, Justice & The Rule of Law

Management of Pupillage, Career Development & Wellbeing

Interactive: Yes

Preparation in advance required: Yes

(All sessions that require preparation in advance are also interactive, so you must attend two of these)

Cost: £30

Date: Friday 27 November – Sunday 29 November 2020

Time:  Fri Evening & all day Sat & Sun

Qualifying point: 4

Open to: 2020/2021 students, inc 2019 & 2020 part time students (those who have attended residential weekends before are not permitted to attend again)

This session will be open to circuit students only. Master Simon will give the students an introduction to ethics in practice and talk through the ethical challenges faced by barristers and their core duties.

Learning Outcome(s):

  • - Identify and apply core duties to ethical challenges faced by barristers
  • - Reason through ethical challenges that raise competing ethical principles 

Theme: Ethics, Standards and Values

Interactive: No

Preparation in advance required: No

Cost: Free

Qualifying point: 1

Open to: All circuit students

How to book

Bar Course student members will be notified by the Inn when qualifying sessions are open for booking – please do not leave it too late to complete your qualifying sessions as this may affect the date on which you can be called to the Bar. 

Unless informed otherwise, students can book qualifying sessions via the Events page, or click below. Please note you can only book events up to 3 working days prior to the event, unless otherwise stated.

Look for events that have a QS next to them. Book your Qualifying Sessions

Click Here

More information

We will only refund your booking if you give us a minimum of 10 working days’ notice before the event. If you have to cancel your booking in the 10 working days leading up to the event, we will only consider a refund if you must cancel because of illness and only if you tell us immediately, in writing, with an accompanying note from a GP.
Inner Temple Qualifying Sessions are booked via our website at www.innertemple.org.uk. To make a booking through our website you will need to login to the Members Area with your email address and the individual password which was detailed on your admission letter, before proceeding to the events page (www.innertemple.org.uk/events). If you did not receive your login details, please contact enquiries@innertemple.org.uk. Booking for Qualifying Sessions normally opens in August and in December. You will be notified at the beginning of each term when new Qualifying Sessions are available to book. Events are booked on a first-come, first-served basis so please ensure you book early as sessions often sell out quickly.
If you have any specific dietary requirements on ethical or medical grounds, which are not already listed on the portal when you make your booking, please add them.
  • - Students should arrive promptly.
  • - Doors will close at the time stated on the ticket or indicated in your confirmation email.
  • - Please provide your ticket or confirmation email on arrival if requested.

Please note that latecomers will not be permitted entry so you should allow ample time for travel to the Inn/venue. If you feel that exceptional circumstances have caused you to be late, you may discuss these by calling the Duty Porter on 020 7797 8255 or the number provided for the relevant staff member.

Mobile phones must be switched off. Students must ensure that they sign the register at each qualifying session event – failure to do so will result in the qualifying session not being awarded.

Please ensure you enter the session on time - it would be best if you logged in five or ten minutes before.  

Attendance of all events is monitored. You will be required to be present for the entire session to gain the QS credits. You will need to keep your camera on throughout.

Please note that all events are recorded for internal use only and attendance of events is monitored. It is vital you do not do not film or screengrab the event yourself and do not share any images on social media.

The dress code for in person Qualifying Sessions is: 

All students (unless otherwise indicated) is dark suits and dark shoes, plus a dark tie for men. (When gowns are required for a qualifying session, they will be made available in the cloakrooms.) Entry will be refused to any student who is not dressed appropriately.

The dress code for online Qualifying Sessions is: 

Smart Casual (unless otherwise indicated).